Jul 22 15

Trumping civic engagement: How “The Donald” is spotlighting the political process


Donald Trump

Donald Trump ignited a firestorm with his “not a war hero” comments directed toward John McCain. While it’s hard to argue that these, along with his previous comments about Mexicans, were anything but distasteful, they also may bring a lot of good.

Love or hate him, “The Donald” always draws a crowd. I would venture to guess that since he entered the presidential race there are more people paying attention to a primary election cycle than ever before.

Politics aside, I have always admired many of Donald Trump’s PR skills. If there is a trending news story even tangentially related to one of his business operations, he is usually right in the middle of it. He makes himself readily available to the media, and they return the favor with ongoing coverage.

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Posted in: Business Thoughts

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Jul 21 15

The value of designing multi-generational marketing campaigns


Everyone’s talking about millennials – from what they buy, to where they choose to live and how they read their news. With the 2016 election season ramping up, you can expect millennials to stay in the headlines as candidates work to activate this huge voting block with a notoriously low turnout.

However, while this generation may have captured the attention of marketers, political strategists and media outlets, they still only make up 30 percent of the adult population and represent less than one fourth of discretionary spending.

In short, don’t forget about the “70 percent” – Generation X, baby boomers and the Silent Generation.

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations

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Jul 16 15

The most demanding client – ever


About three months ago, I met my most demanding client to date. In fact, the day I met her she was screaming and I cried.

Working 24/7 has taken on new meaning. She doesn’t care what hour she calls. 3 a.m. is no different to her than 3 p.m. Oh, and of course she doesn’t pay me.

But I honestly don’t mind, because being a mother is amazing.

I truly don’t know which is harder: being a stay-at-home mom or a working parent. Thankfully working for a company that has a flexible work policy makes it a little easier.

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Posted in: Public Relations

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Jul 9 15

5 tips to improve your public speaking skills as a PR pro


This story was co-written by Stacy Merrick.

With today’s technological possibilities, it can often be tempting to hide behind your computer – emailing colleagues and clients instead of calling them, or sending a deck instead of making a presentation in person.

But strong public speaking skills and effectively communicating your ideas verbally go a long way in building not only your clients’ confidence in you, but confidence in yourself.

Recognizing the opportunity to help us enhance our skills in public speaking, two of our colleagues created the rbb Toastmasters program. The program, modeled after the worldwide Toastmasters phenomenon, allows participants to perfect their speaking skills in both formal and informal speeches throughout the event.

Having participated in the program ourselves, we have learned several tips for how to speak confidently and more importantly, how these skills can be translated into our daily tasks in the PR world.

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Posted in: Public Relations

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Jul 8 15

Women’s World Cup: A long-term PR victory?


Recently, the Women’s World Cup Final drew record numbers for a soccer match – men’s or women’s – and once again kicked off the discussion about the ongoing narrative surrounding the place of women’s sports role in a male dominated field.

To delve deeper into the issue of narrative storytelling, the role social media can play in extending the discussion and how corporations leveraged the opportunity, I conducted a brief Q&A with Natalie P. Mikolich. Natalie is the 2016 Chair-Elect of PRSA’s Entertainment and Sports Section and current manager of the section’s social media channels.

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Posted in: Public Relations, Social Media

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Jul 7 15

Leading by example: 5 questions with rbb CEO Christine Barney


“Look to lead, not just follow.”

There’s a reason rbb is often awarded “Best Place To Work,” and it starts with CEO Christine Barney’s workplace philosophies. The above quote isn’t a canned message point; those are words Christine believes in to establish an employee-driven workplace.

At rbb, we have always been encouraged to join civic organizations in the community to develop our professional relationships and involve ourselves beyond our everyday work life, thus fostering our inspirations outside of PR.

That’s something Christine took to heart when she was recently named the Chairman for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. In her welcome speech, she spoke of her career and the path that has led her to where she is today.

Given my personal experience with PRSA Miami and the Chamber’s HYPE committee, I wanted to know more about her journey to becoming the Chairman and what advice she could offer budding PR pros.

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Posted in: Business Thoughts

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Jun 18 15

Interview with Marianne Cusato: HuffPo blogger shares pitching pet peeves, tips


This story was co-written by Sasha Blaney.

Social media may have changed the way people consume news, but it is bloggers who continue to have an increasingly significant impact on the journalism world today. In fact, 6.7 million bloggers produce 58.7 million new posts each month and successfully reach 77 percent of all Internet users.

With such a vast audience consuming that many blog posts each month, it is imperative for PR pros to educate themselves on the best practices for pitching these media giants.

The role of blogs today has expanded beyond simply serving as an outlet for personal expression; oftentimes, major blogs become established brands that resonate with readers. In a recent study, 84 percent of readers said they make purchase decisions based on blog content they have read.

Above all, bloggers’ greatest strength is eliciting trust from their readers through honest and opinionated posts or media appearances as subject matter experts.

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Posted in: Public Relations

Jun 17 15

Jurassic World’s success was not just at the box office, but in smart marketing


Recently, all kinds of major events have occurred throughout the country that greatly impacted the pop culture world. No, it was not the Chicago Blackhawks’ or Golden State Warriors‘ historic championship wins, or LeBron James declaring himself the “best player in the world,” or even the Game of Thrones season finale that left its audience with more than one cliffhanger.

For our purposes, the most notable news was that the film “Jurassic World” took home $511.8 million dollars around the world, setting the record for biggest global opening of all time. And, arguably, most of the credit should go to the movie’s extensive marketing efforts.

The film’s tremendous success reminded us how important it is to go beyond simply advertising your product and focusing on the experience for each consumer, even if a franchise like “Jurassic Park” can lean on nostalgia. These days, brands must create marketing efforts that emotionally involve the consumer far in advance to truly succeed.

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Posted in: Marketing

Jun 16 15

#BreakoutBrand moment: CVS is on target with Target buy


I never would have considered going to Target to fill a prescription, but I would if there was a CVS pharmacist behind the counter dispensing the medication and answering my questions.

With this week’s big acquisition news – CVS buying 1,600 drugstores from Target – two Breakout Brands with a history of customer-centric innovation are coming together in what looks like a big win for both.

Target gets to offload a business line that was not performing as well as hoped, while potentially bringing new customers through its doors by offering expertise from the nation’s largest dispenser of prescription drugs, the biggest operator of health care clinics (the great Minute Clinic concept) and the second-largest pharmacy-benefits manager.

Meanwhile, CVS gets 1,600 new locations in 47 states, the chance to get in on a new Target “Express” concept targeting urban markets, and the cache of “rubbing brands” with a powerhouse retail brand that remains iconic in the U.S., despite some recent setbacks such as the failed Canada expansion.

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Posted in: Business Thoughts, Marketing

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May 22 15

Confused about Facebook’s latest NewsFeed changes? Find out how they impact your brand


Facebook’s latest algorithm changes have put brands on edge – and with good reason. With this update, Facebook is continuing to limit organic reach for brands and publishers alike, and it is necessary for brands to revamp their social strategy to prevent losing out on influence and opportunities for engagement.

The first step is understanding what the modifications are. According to Facebook product manager Max Eulenstein and user experience researcher Lauren Scissors, there are three big changes that will impact your brand reach on Facebook.

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Posted in: Social Media

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